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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Updated: Feb 13

In my sessions and speaking engagements, I talk a lot about emotional intelligence and the fact that much of what I do stems from the fact that I am a certified Emotional Intelligence Life Coach and Executive Coach. While I mention it often, I generally don’t get the chance to dig into this topic and what emotional intelligence actually is.

Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. There are three skills that are included in one’s emotional intelligence: emotional awareness, the ability to manage emotions, and the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving.

Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness is knowing and understanding when emotions are present in ourselves and in others. There are several levels of emotional awareness: knowing the feeling is present, acknowledging the feeling, identifying the feeling, accepting the feeling, reflecting on the feeling, and forecasting the feeling.

Those who are emotionally aware tend to be happier because they are able to recognize the feelings that they experience in all kinds of different situations. Once you are aware of what emotions you experience when you are able to then seek out situations that will bring you positive feelings.

Ability to Manage Emotions

Many people that are aware of their emotions can take their emotional intelligence a step further because they’re able to actually manage and process the emotions that they experience on a daily basis. Managing your emotions can mean controlling impulsive behaviors and feelings, processing your emotions in healthy ways, being able to follow through on commitments, and taking action in order to manage your emotions rather than letting them fester.

Another aspect of managing your emotions is in managing your relationships. When it comes to nurturing your relationships, it’s important to be able to identify and discuss the emotions that you experience when you surround yourself with certain people. This will allow you to nurture those relationships that bring positive emotions into your life.

Ability to Harness Those Emotions

Harnessing your emotions means being able to identify your emotions and to express them in an appropriate way. It’s important to understand that in order to be able to harness your emotions, you must have a high enough emotional intelligence that you can first identify those emotions, as well as manage them, as discussed above.

Once you are able to do both those things, you can then harness those emotions and express them in situations with others where you begin to feel emotional. No matter what type of emotion you’re feeling, having a high emotional intelligence will allow you to process and/or discuss them in a way that allows you to learn from them, rather than bottling them up.

There are many ways that emotional intelligence can benefit your everyday life, including but not limited to: your physical health, your relationships, your performance at work, and even your social life. If you would like to discuss improving your emotional intelligence and start out on the journey to being the best version of yourself, contact me today.


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